Head’s Blog 29th March 2018 Thursday 29th March 2018

As Easter approaches with all the celebrations of new life and promise, I suspect there are many of you, along with many of us, who are ready for a new life rhythm for the next two weeks and the promise of time to refresh en famille.

The Easter story is very much gory and glory and presents unique challenges each year for what we tell our very youngest pupils.

Our whole school assembly this Easter took the theme of trying not to let people down as Jesus’ disciples did to Him. But as failing is a very human condition we must also take time to understand that forgiveness and moving on are an important part of healing and growing.

The music department kicked off the week with a wonderful inclusive orchestra day for all our own pupils and pupils from Amherst, Otford and St Thomas’ primaries. They made a glorious sound as they showcased their talent, and the large sections of brass and percussion added a lot of oomph to the swelling sound.
The lighthearted animal theme made it fun for all and I almost thought I could see the elephant clumping through.

Congratulations to Gordon, Sally, Emily, Jackie, Jack, Matt, Rob and honorary peri for the day Becky and the marketing team who masterminded invitations and logistics. The children were beaming.

On Tuesday the Easter bunny visited Pre-Prep and we thank Jason for donning the outfit not for the first time.

Jason leaves us during the Easter holiday to take up a residential estates role at Ashford School, which we congratulate him on. In his two years here he has proved a quick thinking, courteous and committed colleague and I know he will miss us just as we will miss him. We thank him for his contribution to the team and wish him well in his new role.

On Wednesday, Year 1 led a wonderful Easter concert performance, set in a chocolate shop, exploring the themes of rivalry and repentance and reprised their “With New Hearts” song in our whole school assembly.

We are sorry to lose Amy Owen as one-to-one assistant in Pre-Prep. We wish her well in her new role as cover supervisor at Otford primary thank her for all her work here. We hope that our links with Otford will enable our paths to cross again.

Our final assembly is celebrating all that has been achieved in so many areas of school life this term and as we do so,  in the Italian mountains another group of children will be coming towards the end of a fantastic week skiing. As soon as term starts after Easter the music tour will be away and I with them. Do keep in touch with us over the holidays and send us your Easter photos. We like to keep in touch with our families and celebrate all the unusual and interesting things they do.

I wish to congratulate J Hudson on his gold and bronze swimming medals in the National Schools Association swimming Championships last weekend. It was wonderful to see these outstanding achievements at a national level.

In thinking about the busyness of the summer term we have taken the decision to have the campout following on from Sports Day and not as a separate event. Please put the date in your diary Friday 29th of June and prepare for the epic event of the season all in one go! The calendar is live online and you can download it to your phone filtered or unfiltered.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope your holiday is filled with happy times together and that you all rest and are refreshed.

Happy Easter!

Jill Aisher

Latest News

Prep pupils treated classmates and music teachers to a variety of musical performances this week in their half termly concert.

Performed in three instalments within their bubbles, the musicians showcased a variety of pieces, varying in both genre and instrument.

And although parents were unable to attend the concerts due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pupils’ families received a recording of the event.

Gordon Baird, Director of Music, said “We were delighted by how these first concerts of the academic year went despite the absence of the children’s parents. It was a lovely intimate experience for the children to play or sing to their friends and we heard some confident, accomplished performances.

Mr Baird added: “For some, it was their first time playing in a concert in the Prep school and we look forward to organising many more opportunities for them to perform throughout the year.”

A montage of the three music concerts can be found on the St Michael’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/Bj_Wx4P9heg.

Spooky spiders and plump pumpkins sparked Halloween fun at St Michael’s this week.

Supported by the school’s Parents and Friends association, pupils enjoyed two games which offered great prizes to winners.

Coordinator of the Halloween competitions and P & F committee member, Kelly Downey said: “Given the restrictions currently in place, the P&F are focusing on strengthening the school community for parents and children this year.

“The competitions are a simple way for the children to have some fun in the week before half term, while raising some funds for the P&F.”

Children in Pre-Prep were tasked with guessing the number of spooky spiders in the jar, while Prep children were asked to guess the weight of a pumpkin. Pupils made a donations to the P & F in exchange for each guess they made.

And the winners of the games, Herbie W (Pre-Prep) A Ward, M Little, L Lutzow and H Owen (Prep), were awarded Halloween hampers which will help them celebrate this year’s festival in spooktacular style.

Kelly added: “The funds raised for the P&F will go towards funding activities and facilities for the children to enrich their time at the school.”

For more information about St Michael’s P & F association visit stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/parents-friends

 

Strawberries and sunflowers were just some of the items celebrated in last week’s harvest assemblies.

 

The annual Pre-Prep event, performed as three instalments this year, saw Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils sing, dance and give prayer for the harvest while learning about the festival from their music teacher, Mrs Raveyeh.

 

 

Reflecting on the success of the events, Louise Raveyeh said: “I am quite moved by the children’s enthusiastic singing in our harvest celebration.

 

“It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to realise that there is joy in giving and sharing what we have and happiness for those who gratefully receive it.

 

“Their singing and eagerness to share with others was heartwarming.”

 

 

During the assemblies pupils sung songs about harvest time, nature and the variety of fruit and vegetables grown in this country.

 

Louise said: “I wanted the children to be thankful for what they have by realising what an amazing rainbow variety of food we have, created with individual characteristics just like them.

 

“I wanted them to realise the sense of joy that there is in sharing what we have.

 

“The songs reflect our celebration of what we have and realisation of the process of planting, harvesting and sharing.”

 

 

And it wasn’t just songs that helped the children express their thanks. Helped by their generous parents, Pre-Prep donated hundreds of food items and household essentials to the Swanley branch of Trussell Trust food bank.

 

 

Head of Pre-Prep at St Michael’s, Zerrin Leech, said: “We had tables, cupboards and bags festooned with food last week as our families gave very kind donations of food and other items.

 

“A huge thank you must go to the pupils’ parents for their wonderful generosity once again this year which will be gratefully received by the Trussell Trust.

 

“Thank you also to Mrs Ravayeh for leading our three harvest assemblies. They have been lovely with lots of new songs as well as my all-time favourite, Cauliflowers Fluffy.”

 

 

 

 

Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”

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